Volume 31 : Articles

Assyrian Texts

The Inscriptions of Assurnasirpal II and His Son

By: Tammi J. Schneider

The existence of written re­cords at a site is viewed with great joy because texts impart information that cannot be gleaned from other material re­mains. When no such texts are found, the archaeologists and other associated scholars must work that much harder to understand what happened at the site. One way this is done is by […]

Emblems of Authority

The Seals and Sealings from Hasanlu IVB

By: Michelle I. Marcus

In the ancient Near East, small stamps and cylinders with carved or molded designs were used as emblems of status or author­ity. Their impressions on lumps of clay, called sealings, served to indicate ownership or rights over goods, and to control access to containers or storerooms. While seals and sealings have long held an artistic […]

Rediscovering Hasanlu

By: Robert H. Dyson, Jr.

The unexpected discovery in 1958 of the now famous “Hasalu Gold Bowl” in a burned occupation level at that site led to extensive excavation of the early Iron Age settlement. This pre­historic cultural period at Hasanlu, located in northwestern Iran, begins in the second half of the 2nd millennium B.C. and ends around 800 B.C. Later […]

Horse Gear from Hasanlu

By: Maude de Schauensee

The largest collection of con­temporaneous, archaeologi­cally documented horse para­phernalia in the Near East comes from the ruins of the town of Hasanlu, destroyed in about 800 B.C. The gear itself, intricate and beautifully made of high quality materials, clearly indicates that horses were not just utilitarian ani­mals but were valued in themselves,perhaps as symbols of […]

Warfare at Hasanlu in the Late 9th Century B.C.

By: Oscar W. Muscarella

Warfare in the ancient Near East is abundantly docu­mented by written and archaeological evidence. The use of force to settle political disputes, and to validate the role of kings or leaders is not only common but is glorified in both historical texts and representational art. Excavations at the site of Hasanlu have produced information about […]

The Iron Age Architecture at Hasanlu: An Essay

By: Robert H. Dyson, Jr.

One of the most important results of the excavation of Iron Age Hasanlu is the recovery of well-preserved archi­tectural remains dating to the 9th century B.C., including buildings, gates, courtyards, and roadways. These structures, destroyed by a catastrophic fire, provide a closed context for thousands of artifacts buried in their ruins and afford an opportunity […]

The ‘Hasanlu Gold Bowl’

Thirty Years Later

By: Irene J. Winter

Just over 30 years ago, the extraordinary vessel known as the “Hasanlu Gold Bowl” was discovered in the debris of Burned Building I-West, part of the major architectural complex belonging to period IVB on the High Mound. Found not far from the skeletal hand of the individual who had been fleeing with the piece when […]

Glimpses of an Iron Age Landscape

Plants at Hasanlu

By: Mary Virginia Harris

On an August evening in 1970 A.D., standing on the top of Hasanlu Tepe, I could see the headlights of the reapers moving back and forth across the wheat fields. Few in­dividual farmers or even villages in Iranian Azerbaijan could afford to buy such a machine. Instead, a family or community would ar­range to rent […]

Treasures from the Sea

Shells and Shell Ornaments from Hasanlu IVB

By: David S. Reese

Shell is one of the most durable materials in the archaeologi­cal record. Shells and shell­fish have been used by man in numerous different ways—as food, a source of medicine, lime, and purple dye, for personal orna­ments, utilitarian objects, and vo­tive offerings. Shells found far from their natural source are also indica­tive of trade and culture […]

The Emergence of Iron Use at Hasanlu

By: Vincent C. Pigott

Artifacts of iron constitute one of the single largest classes excavated at Hasan­lu. More than 2000 individual iron objects were recorded during ex­cavation, the majority from the destruction level on the High Mound (ca. 800 B.C.). This collec­tion is important not only because of the broad range of artifact types and technology exhibited, but also […]